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    jp's Stranglehold (PS3)

    [December 31, 2014 06:10:20 PM]
    I picked this up because I know some people who worked at Midway and worked on this game. I've played it for a few hours (6?), made it almost to the end of the third chapter and I'm calling it done. My stack of shame is still too big - and as far as I can tell this game won't be changing too much.

    It has been, for the most part, an entertaining blast for sure. In a nutshell it's an over-the-top third person shooting game with acrobatics and lots of attention paid to making the shooting as bombastic as possible. It's sort of like the original Max Payne on steroids and speed. You spend most of the time diving, shooting in slow motion, and on the floor. Enemies come out of the wood work and you basically blast them all. Levels also are also dressed to be highly destructible - this is a game where pretty much everything can get shot to pieces. As I write this I guess this is like taking the shooting scenes from John Woo movies and cranking them up. Yes, there are also white doves.

    They got Chow Yun Fat to reprise his role as Inspector (Detective?) Tequila from Hard Boiled. I'm pretty sure the game is a sequel to the movie - there's a bunch of characters and factions I don't recall but I guess I could have watched the movie (which is viewable from the game - not as a separate disc/DVD).

    So, why am I not going to continue playing?

    Well, it got tiring a bit soon as I realized that the gameplay wasn't changing much. Different locations - beautifully realized, but the same formula of dive, shoot, avoid. There is a meter that fills up so you can pull off some cool special moves, but you can also use the energy in that meter to heal up. Since I'm not very good (I could also blame camera and control issues), I found I'd rather use it to heal rather than on the special moves. So, for me at least, the game shot itself in the foot a little. To be fair, I'm not interested in the final score you get for each level and how you ranked - if I was, then it would be a different story entirely.

    Getting to the control issues, the main problem I had was in moving about - there's a reticle for aiming/shooting that is independent of movement but is still affected by it (so when you dive, you might have to adjust it). So, when the game doesn't work you're really like a crazy person who can't seem to walk straight. When it DOES work, it's brilliant - there were a few times when I pulled off moves that seemed straight out of an action flick. For example, I dove off a landing and shot three baddies before I hit the floor in a roll. I also dove over a counter shooting the guy hiding behind it as a went over him. Certain levels also have an incredible number of "set ups", your typical group of baddies gathered around an explosive barrel is a common one, but there were some others that seemed pretty inspired.

    So, in all it was fun, I probably should have watched Hard Boiled again just to get up to speed on the characters/story, but the camera/control issues got a bit annoying (as the difficulty ramps up mistakes are more costly), and, for me, the gameplay wasn't evolving/changing enough.

    Still a blast. AND, I need to keep this game in mind as a nice example of the whole transmedia storytelling thing. It's not quite like "Enter the Matrix", but the idea that the original production company of a film would then partner with a game studio for a sequel isn't ALL that common. I think.
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    jp's Stranglehold (PS3)

    Current Status: Stopped playing - Something better came along

    GameLog started on: Tuesday 30 December, 2014

    GameLog closed on: Wednesday 31 December, 2014

    jp's opinion and rating for this game

    Fun and crazy. Definitely a "must" to look at for ideas if you're interested in 3rd person shooters.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstar

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